Writing a concise but thorough resume can be a challenge, especially since you need to tailor this critical document to the position you want to land. Showcasing your accomplishments in the proper light and highlighting your relevant skills is a must, and even the smallest mistake can significantly hinder your chances of being selected.
Creating an effective resume is one of the most difficult parts of any job search. If you want to make sure yours is going to catch the hiring manager’s attention for all the right reasons, here are some damaging missteps you need to avoid.
Arrogance and Exaggeration
Regardless of your capabilities, you need to make sure you don’t come off as arrogant when crafting your resume. Asserting you are the “best” at something isn’t necessarily going to help your case and may make the hiring manager concerned about your attitude in general.
Instead, make sure to quantify the accomplishments you choose to include. This allows you to showcase your abilities and back them up with hard data without coming off as a braggart.
However, be sure to avoid exaggerating your achievements, work history, education or skill level. It is surprisingly easy for a hiring manager to check any claims you make, so embrace honesty when discussing your capabilities, experiences, and accomplishments.
Odd Font Choices
Some job seekers believe a unique font will help them stand out. While this is technically true, a strange font choice can separate you from the pack for the wrong reasons.
Hiring managers are rarely amused when a candidate submits a resume in Comic Sans, Bradley Hand ITC or Freestyle Script. If the font is meant to look handwritten, it is best avoided entirely.
Similarly, any font that is hard to read should be considered a no-go. This includes options that may seem appropriate based on how the lettering is structured but become challenging to read because the text looks squished together, making the letters harder to distinguish at a glance.
When in doubt, still with classic options like Calibri, Cambria, Didot, Garamond or Helvetica. These fonts are easy to read and come off as suitably professional.
Certain descriptive words are going to solicit eye rolls from most hiring managers. Clichés like “self-starter,” “passionate” or “hardworking” don’t provide the hiring manager with definitive information. Similarly, using terms like “ninja,” “guru” or “rock star” lack an air of professionalism and may be viewed as immature.
Using “corporate speak” – including terms or phrases like “synergy,” “think outside the box” or “giving 110%” – is also a bad idea. Not only are many of these words and phrases tired, but they don’t provide the hiring manager with much value.
Not Showing Your Impact
Not too long ago, resumes were little more than a list of a person’s duties. However, the days where that was the right approach are long gone. Instead, you need to showcase your impact on your past workplaces, highlighting tangible and quantifiable accomplishments to demonstrate your value to your previous employers.
By avoiding the mistakes above, you can create a resume that stands out for all of the right reasons. If you would like to find out more about crafting a winning application, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our resume creation expertise can benefit you.